“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a recent Post:
I presented myself and all of you with a challenge.
I decided over the next year that I would practice living in the moment. Once a month I will engage in an experience to bring myself into the present moment. This experience will be something that I might have said, “I’m going to do that one day” or something that will break up my humdrum routines.
I’m going to write a short post each month for one year about these experiences.
No money is required, nothing other than imagination and impulsiveness. My goal is to try to regain a childlike, playful zest for life and in doing so form valuable habits of appreciating the moment. See the prologue post for the complete details of my personal challenge.
SO WHAT DID JULY HAVE IN STORE FOR ME?
SWIM TO FREEDOM
Its a hot, hazy 34 degrees, feels like 42 degrees, the kind of day where the pavement is a jet black, steamy, rippling mirage. The news reports are saying, stay indoors, avoid strenuous activities.
So guess what I do? I go for a run of course. Anyone who loves running as much as I do knows it takes a lot to put a strike through the schedule. Being an avid hot yoga goer, I love the heat, I figured if it got to be too much, I could always walk.
So my running buddy Chris and I started out: My hands felt swollen, it was hard to catch my breath, but all in all it was doable. We were running down the Lakeshore waterfront, the pathway normally filled with other enthusiastic, waving runners was oddly empty; and the otherwise quiet beach area was overfilled with laughing kids and lounging adults trying to escape the relentless heat.
We circled around at our 3k turning point, I looked out to the crowded beach, the smell of the cool water wafting past my nostrils. My body was stinging and swollen from the humidity. Suddenly an idea popped into my head. I said to Chris, “Lets go swimming.”
Immediately my mind took over: You can’t! Your in your clothes. You don’t have a towel. Your car will get wet. What will people think? What about your running shoes and IPOD? This wasn’t in the plan! Chris looked quizzically at me, thinking, are you being serious? I almost said, “Your right that’s crazy” but then I thought of my personal challenge to take advantage of the present moment and instead I said:
“Lets be spontaneous, what’s the worst that will happen our car seats will get a little wet”
And with that we ran towards the beach and clothes and all we dove in. The water felt amazing, the coolness instantly relieving my swollen hands. We fluttered out over our heads and returned to frolic in the shallow end. After a good 15 minutes we sloshed out and even though dripping wet, we continued the rest of our run to our cars.
When I got home I was absolutely beaming, I felt alive. My husband looked at me with a smile on his face, “Did you really go swimming in your clothes?”
Some might question whether this simple act is worthy of a “living in the moment” post but simple acts such as this that can make such a huge difference in your happiness and quality of life. The unexpected break from my normal weekly routine of work, the gym and running errands, was so much fun. I didn’t over think it, talk myself out of it, or act like a serious adult.
While in the water I made sure to pay close attention to the coolness against my skin, the sounds of the children playing and the sand against my feet. Life doesn’t have to be as serious as we make it out to be.
Have you ever walked past a rocky beach or stood on the end of a dock and had an overwhelming urge to just dive in? This happens to me all the time. Don’t think about it; dive in, bathing suit or not, the worst that will happen is you just might have a little fun.
This personal challenge is helping me to think outside the box. Challenge yourself as well.
Stay tuned for August’s adventure.
“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” ~ Woodrow Wilson
Living in the Moment Archive (12 fun experiences)
July – Swim to Freedom
August – To be posted before the End of August